Developing joint efforts to increase productivity and strengthen social protection in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) will take centre stage during the Employment Working Group (EWG) meeting and the Labour and Employment Ministers' Meeting (LEMM) which will be held in Durban from 26 to 29 September 2023.
South Africa, under the leadership of the Department of Employment and Labour, will host the latest meeting in a series of BRICS labour and employment meetings. The overarching theme of "Ensuring Decent Work, Dignity and Respect for All" sets the direction for discussions focused on promoting cooperation on job creation and labour market governance among BRICS partners.
In preparation for the LEMM, the Fourth Meeting of the Working Group on Employment and the BRICS Network of Labour Research Institute will be held on 26-27 September 2023. At these meetings, senior officials and technical experts will review issues such as the Ministerial Declaration, the Report on Social Protection in BRICS Countries, the BRICS Labour Productivity Platform and ways to strengthen cooperation among the five countries at the multilateral level.
The meetings of the Employment Working Group and the BRICS Network of Labour Research Institute will culminate in a two-day Ministerial Meeting on 28-29 September 2023.
The respective heads of ministries are expected to focus on labour rights, universal access to social protection, skills development and sustainable enterprise development to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth. They will also seek to deepen cooperation in multilateral fora to shape the global labour market policy and agenda. Their efforts are in line with the BRICS leaders' call for a people-centred economic recovery and the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
In addition to the BRICS counterparts, Minister Thulas Nxesi has also invited Ministers from Cuba, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The meeting will be attended by representatives of social partners and international organisations such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the International Social Security Agency (ISSA) and the African Regional Labour Administration Centre (ARLAC). The provincial leaders of KwaZulu-Natal and the city of Ethekwini will address the international delegates.
Ministers of social development and small business development, senior officials and experts will also attend the conference, as reported by the official website of the South African government.Photo: IStock